Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for referring to a defendant as “dumb-ass” during a sentencing hearing. Ditsworth, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct November 13, 2017).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court censured a judge for taking the questions and the answer key for a written assessment from her mentor’s papers during new judge orientation. In the Matter of Aboud, Order (Arizona Supreme Court December 4, 2017).
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 60 days without pay, ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine to an anti-bullying organization, and ordered him to submit to a psychiatric exam for (1) making comments to a reporter about 2 pending cases to protect his re-election bid; (2) refusing to vacate a hearing in a case in which a motion for recusal was pending and advising a party to file a complaint against opposing counsel with the State Bar; and (3) failing to accord plaintiff’s counsel the right to be heard during a hearing, repeatedly using intemperate language and virtually yelling at her, directing that she be handcuffed, and holding her in contempt. In the Matter of Potter, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposition of discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline November 22, 2017).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, after arraigning a defendant and entering an order of protection, receiving unsolicited ex parte information from 2 sources claiming that the defendant had violated the order of protection by taking trips with the complaining witness, failing to disclose the communications, repeating the information as fact during a pre-trial conference, and reiterating the accusations when he accepted a plea agreement, sentenced the defendant, and issued a 6-month order of protection. In the Matter of Curran, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 14, 2017).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and agreement not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct closed its investigation of a complaint alleging a non-lawyer judge made public comments on Facebook criticizing public officials and a state gun regulation and conveying bias in favor of law enforcement and against a political organization, a social activist group, and members of a religious group. In the Matter of Clarkin, Decision and order (December 8, 2017).
  • Affirming the Court of Judicial Discipline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the removal of a judge for seeking the advice of another judge about her son’s case and acquiescing in his offer to communicate ex parte with the judge who was handling the case. In re Roca (Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 22, 2017).
  • Affirming the Court of Judicial Discipline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the removal of a judge for listening to another judge’s requests for favorable treatment for parties in 3 cases, finding in favor of those parties, and calling the other judge to let him know of her compliance with his requests. In re Segal (Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 22, 2017).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) threatening to end a house arrest program if a defendant’s attorney did not withdraw an objection and (2) entering an order giving 30 days credit toward completion of a sentence to any male inmate who received a vasectomy and any female inmate who received a birth control implant. Letter to Benningfield (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct November 15, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for his treatment of prospective jurors and his use of the contempt power against lawyers; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 8 hours of additional education. Public Reprimand of Aguilar and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 6, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) communicating ex parte with the judge presiding over her nephew’s criminal case and voluntarily testifying as a character witness on her nephew’s behalf at his probation revocation hearing and (2) shaming and reprimanding jurors who found a defendant guilty. Public Reprimand of Hawthorne (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 9, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to comply with a statute requiring courts to follow a rotating system of appointments for attorneys ad litem, mediators, and guardians. Public Admonition of Ginsberg (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 15, 2017).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for his exchange with an umpire at his son’s baseball game in which he inappropriately and unnecessarily injected his judicial position; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Warning of Warren and Order of Additional Education (November 10, 2017).
  • The Virginia Supreme Court removed a judge from office for contacting 2 potential witnesses prior to his wife’s trial. Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission v. Pomrenke (Virginia Supreme Court November 27, 2017).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for stating during a hearing, “we don’t know whether he’s some white guy like me making a threat or somebody who’s, you know, more likely to be a gangster.” In re North, Stipulation, agreement, and order of admonishment (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 8, 2017).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence. In re Dingledy, Stipulation, agreement, and order of reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 8, 2017).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a judge for posting on his Facebook page a photo showing him conducting an initial appearance. Public Admonishment of Hall (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission October 31, 2017).
  • The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission publicly admonished a judge for (1) failing to give a defendant a jury trial as he had timely requested and to respond to the allegations and (2) publicly endorsing a candidate for appointment for magistrate and commenting on an impending matter against a former magistrate. Public Admonishment of Halloran (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission November 2, 2017).

 

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